Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Harvesting Rainwater: The Art and Practice


Water rationing has started in Metro Manila.  Angat Dam which supplies more than 80 percent of Metro Manila is appropriating its supply to last through summer next year. Limited supply is exacerbated by the ongoing El Nino phenomenon. Let us save rainwater, it's a valuable resource which should not go to waste.
    Dr Abe V Rotor 
 Living with Nature School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid (People's School-on-Air) with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM Band, 8 to 9 evening class, Monday to Friday
 
A bountiful harvest of rainwater cuts down water bill; it is environment-friendly and 
a source of enjoyment.  At home, Lagro QC.
  1. Join downspouts together to maximize harvest of rainwater in one place.
  2. Keep roof, gutter and downspout regularly cleaned and declogged of any debris.   
  3. Avoid using red lead paint, use epoxy paint instead, to avoid lead contaminant.  
  4. Filter rainwater with fine screen or cloth before transferring to container.
  5. Plastic containers are convenient but they serve only as temporary storage.
  6. Wide mouth containers may cause accident. They are not designed as bath tubs.
  7. Use water within five days, otherwise it breeds mosquitoes and other vermin. 
  8. Clean and expose containers under the sun for an hour or two to disinfect. 
  9. Invert and be ready for the next rain to come. Store only clean rainwater.      
  10. Final storage is ideally a garden pond. It is multipurpose: fish culture, water for cleaning, watering and for use in case of fire. 

  11. A garden pond adds aesthetic beauty to the place, adds coolness and tranquility, cum a gentle sound of a fountain and running stream.Garden Pond at home in Lagro, QC. Take Nature Home mural painting by the author.

Catfish and pako fish raised in a garden pond.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Part 1:Concerns about Biology and Ecology - Open Questions

Dr Abe V Rotor

Living with Nature School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid (People's School-on-Air) with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM Band, 8 to 9 evening class Monday to Friday (www.pbs.gov.ph)

Here are questions often raised in the academe about Biolological and Environmental Sciences. How familiar are you to these questions? You may find them useful in your studies, lectures, discussions, exams, researches, and the like.


UST Graduate School students visit vermiculture project
of La Mesa Eco Park, QC, Photo by Sunshine Rolle


1. How do you relate autotoxicity of yeast in fermentation, and the tale of the Pied Piper, with humankind’s possible extinction? Are we in our sunset as a species?

2. Were our ancestors a happier lot? In what ways? What has Folk Wisdom to do with our present lives?

3. What are the three scientific breakthroughs? What are their applications? (10)

4. There is an aspect in Human Ecology about “love life.” How do you relate it with health and values? Is married life a blissful life?

5. How is bioethics applied in present day life, specifically in ecology? Explain in relation to pollution, human factors in development, and the like.

6. Global warming has many consequences: What are these? Do these have anything to do with the biblical events and prophesies?

7. What is the Disconnection Syndrome? Explain. How do you relate it to Connectivity?

8. Today’s concept of heroes has taken a universal perspective. Compare it with the traditional concept of heroes, saints and martyrs. Cite prominent names.

9. What is the paradigm of salvation on the ecological perspective? How do you relate this with our lessons? What are the other paradigms to compare with? Is it compatible to them?

10. Present ten (10) scenarios created by the increasing atmospheric heat brought about by Greenhouse Effect.

11. Differentiate the following:

a.Paedogenesis from Parthenogenesis
b..Aestivation from Hibernation
c.Most primitive vs most advance Organisms
d.Shortest vs longest life span of organisms
e.Colony of termites vs a horde of migratory locusts

12.Present a scenario if all insects in the world were eliminated.

13. Inbreeding is apparent in parthenogenetic organisms, which include many inverrtebrates and plankton organisms. This phenomenon is contrary to Darwinian principles of survival and evolution? How can these organisms cope up with this disadvantage?

14.Why is Genetic Engineering controversial? On which side of the argument do you support? Explain.

15.“Stress predisposes an organism to shortened life cycle.” What is the background of this statement? Do you agree with it? What is its implication?


16.“Being small is a biological asset.” What is the rationale in the biological world? In the insect world? (Identify the insecrs in the photos.)

17.Arthropods dominate the animal kingdom in diversity and number.
a.What are the common characteristics of Arthropods?
b.How are Arthropods classified? Describe each class, and cite common examples.

18.Many ordanisms are called “living fossils?” Explain. What organisms demonstrate this phenomenon? What enabled these organisms to defy the conventional rules of evolution?

19.What are the components of Integrated Pest Management? Briefly explain each.

20.Make a list of destructive insects (be specific) and the nature of damage they inflict, in common names. You may provide other important information

21.How do insects survive extreme conditions of the environment? During summer? Winter? Cite examples.

22. What are the 12 most important orders of insects? Briefly explain each and cite examples.

23. There are poisonous plants found in nature which ethnic societies learned to deal with their poison. Explain how the poison is removed or at least reduced to safe level.

24. There are 30 pesticide-free vegetables in their common and scientific names which I listed in the Blog and in the book, Living with Nature. They are resistant to insects, mites, nematodes, snails, fungi, including weeds, rodents and birds, and are often found in the wild, or in the open spaces. Name as many as you can recall, in common names.

25. What group of vegetable is the most sprayed – in fact chemical pesticide is a must in its cultivation. What are the tips on how to minimize the effects of pesticides? What should we do with vegetables raised with chemical spraying as a prescribed horticultural practice? (Crucifers.  How many can you identify in the photo?)

26. In your readings, what make Garlic a Miracle Health Food and Medicine

27. There are wild food plants or hunger crops that provide an alternative source of food and nutrition on the grassroots in times of poor harvest and calamities like drought. Being native or indigenous they survive extreme conditions of the environment, they need very little care, if at all. Name ten of them which are found locally and how they are prepared.

28. To make natural farming and gardening work, one must turn to the so-called “eight senses” - the intelligence of naturalism- which, in turn, makes a green thumb. Natural farming and/or gardening is described by five principles, to wit: (Give examples under each.)

a. Take advantage of the functions of living things as producers;
b. From a single process, harness two or more products;
c. Use leftovers and wastes as resource for the next process;
d. Remember that the value of a given process can be greater than the sum of its parts; and
e. Capitalize on natural assets of certain organisms and certain environmental factors.

29. What are sea vegetables, what are the 5 most common in the market

30. Trace the flow of solar energy from the physical to the biological world. Emphasize the role of the cell and its parts. Show the transformation of energy along the pathway. How is energy conserved and released? Illustrate and explain.

Continued...

Sunday, September 27, 2015

What is the ultimate test of civilization?

  Dr Abe V Rotor 
 Living with Nature School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid (People's School-on-Air) with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM Band, 8 to 9 evening class Monday to Friday (www.pbs.gov.ph)
“The ultimate test of any civilization Is
"Earth in the hands of man."
 not in its inventions and deeds;
But the endurance of Mother Nature
In keeping up with man’s unending needs.”
AV Rotor, “Light in the Woods”, 1995
Reflection on “Environment and Peace

We live in a different world, and a fast changing one at that. It is fiction today and reality tomorrow. Jules Verne’s works – “Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea”, “Around the World in Eighty Days” are not fiction after all, and Flash Gordon, yesterday’s fiction hero for kids is virtual reality today. They surround us, they are part of us.

We are in an age of bionics, an organic union of living and non-living things. And while we enrich our intelligence, we are also creating and transferring intelligence to robots. Time shall come when it will be difficult to differentiate human and artificial intelligence.

Natural science will feed commerce with new commodities. We have entered into a new field of economics – bio-economics. Already we talk of cloning, test tube babies, surrogate mothers, menopausal childbirth. We have welcomed the patenting of plants and animals and microbes - and the DNA and proteins that make them. We are claiming property rights to life itself! Which endorses review of human and spiritual values. Revise ethico-morals? “Re-create God,” proposes an atheist.

This paper does not intend to provide answers to these disturbing questions, but rather help us in our search for meaning in today’s highly scientific and technological world. How fast and far we are going to keep up with the pace of change, or how simple a life do we wish to lead?

Here are scenarios to examine and reflect on:

Re-Creating Nature

Have you heard of instant countryside inside cities?

“Gubat sa Siyudad” is more of a symptom than fancy. More and more people who are tired of city life are yearning to live in less congested areas where they are closer to Nature.

A few years ago French farmers staged a dramatic protest against the European Union by hauling sections of wheat fields, and herding cattle and sheep to the instant farm landscape at the Champs Elysees, creating a countryside amid tall buildings and busy pedestrian and traffic .

Picture this landscape in the middle of Paris, near the historical Arch d’ Triumph. Traffic was stopped, business was disrupted. Police cordoned the area. Instead of reacting angrily, the Parisians of all walks of life including lawyers, students, businessmen, lovers, farmers, cops, ran toward the mini countryside and dreamily enjoyed the rustic scene. For a few hours before they remembered who and where they were, all were happily back in the country. The incident would fit the conditions of New York’s City’ Madison Garden or Beijing’s Tiananmen Square as well. In the middle of cities rises an imagery of a nostalgic rural world, a world now disconnected with urban life.

“Disconnection” Syndrome
As a country becomes more progressive, technologically that is, more and more of its citizens become disconnected from the countryside. And what is paradoxical is that cities grow at the expense of the countryside, eating out agriculturally productive space, draining precious manpower and resources, supplanting tradition and values with “modern culture”.

What is the implication of this? Disconnection buries deeper that intrinsic attachment in us to the natural life which is systemic in our genes and culture, the key to our successful evolution as rational and social beings. The memory of that attachment surfaces now and then in our language, music, paintings, legends, even in our thoughts over a sunset or a flowering weed.

But this is not meaningful enough unless we re-establish that attachment to make us aware that everything in this world is interconnected. It is this interconnection that is the key to unity and understanding, respect and reverence, compassion and humility. Such interconnection links the parts of the living and the non-living world as well, the abstract and concrete, the past and the present, the macro with the microbial world, diverse cultures and races.

The restoration of attachment between man and nature is crucial at a time when we have caused our environment a kind of degradation never before experienced in the hands of man. Preservation of the natural world is the key to such restoration – and it is not outside the power of man.
Our lives are being outrun by Science and Technology

In so short a time – virtually just within a life span of many of us in the elder generation - we witnessed three important unprecedented discoveries which have changed human life and our society forever. There is no turning back now. Science and technology marked the milestone of no return, a point of irreversibility as we race for industrialization, and plunge into the “third wave” of progress.

The three scientific breakthroughs are the following:

1. Splitting of the atom (nuclear power, atomic bomb);
2. Wiring the microchip (electronics, computers); and
3. Cracking the DNA code (Human Genome Project,
genetic engineering).
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The latest scientific breakthrough ? An expanding universe fueled by dark energy

Even 25 years after Stephen Hawking considered this concept of a rapidly expanding universe in A Brief History of Time, this is still a mind-blowing idea — it implies that, even after 12 to 14 billion years, whatever caused the creation of the universe — the Big Bang — was so powerful and unlocked so much energy that it’s still going on today. And not just going on — but actually accelerating and becoming faster.


The next question, of course, is what is causing this accelerating expansion. The general consensus among physicists is that “dark energy” is somehow accountable, stretching and pulling galaxies apart. According to scientists, approximately 68 percent of the universe is “dark energy” and 27 percent is “dark matter.” As NASA points out, that means that 95 percent of the universe is still a deep mystery: “The rest — everything on Earth, everything ever observed with all of our instruments, all normal matter — adds up to less than 5 percent of the universe.” That could give research around this “mysterious cosmic force” a new boost
----------------------------------------------.
The applications of these breakthroughs can not be overemphasized as we witness today or in the near future the following:

1. Man’s landing on the moon;
2. Information highway via satellites and the Internet;
3. Cloning and genetically modified organisms (GMO);
4. Universities without walls (distance education);
5. Robotics and nanobotics (microscopic robots);
6. Frankenfoods, (modified foods);
7. Test tube babies, menopausal childbirth;
8. Gene therapy and immunotherapy;
9. Extended life span (now 78 years on the average to 140 by 2500); and
10. Cryonics or human hibernation, which prepares man for space travel.

Part 2 Concerns on Biology and Ecology - Open Questions


Dr Abe V Rotor 
Part 2: Concerns on Biology and Ecology - Open Questions
Modified True or False. Give reason for false answers


Mungbean (Phaseolus radiatus), the most popular legume in the tropics is highly nutritious in calories and protein.

1. When you introduce a new plant in your garden – a plant that has not been tried before – you are sure it is virtually free of pests, firstly because it did not bring with it the pests from its origin, and second, the local pests would take time to develop the taste for it.

2. We are still nomadic like our primitive ancestors were, in the sense that we still derive much of our food and other needs from the sea, hills and forest. Furthermore, we travel far and wide from our homes and families in search of our basic economic needs – food, clothing, shelter and energy. This neo-nomadic syndrome has been spurred by our modern way of living influenced by overpopulation, industrialization, science and technology.

3. The least sprayed vegetables – that is, vegetables that do not necessarily require the application of pesticides – are those that grow wild. Thus the ruling is, the more native a vegetable is, the more resistant it is to pest.

4. The most nutritious of all vegetables in terms of protein are those belonging to the legume family. In fact a number of legumes have higher protein content than meat.

5. If we rank from highest to lowest in protein content these vegetables should be listed as follows: soybean, segidillas or calamismis (pallang), mungo, tomato, malunggay.

6. It is possible that a one-hectare farm can produce as much as a four-hectare farm does, even without additional amounts of inputs like fertilizer, pesticide and water.

7. The production capacity of genetically modified crops of corn, potato, and soybean – the most common GMO food we are taking every day - has increased even without increasing the supply of nutrients in the soil. GMOs are the world’s ultimate recourse to feed an ever increasing population now approaching the 6.5 billion mark.

8. Our soil and climate are favorable to many crops. Let us plant our rice fields and corn fields after harvest season with the following crops so that we will not import them and spend precious dollars, and that, it is the Filipino farmer and not the foreign farmer whom we patronize and subsidize. Potato (potato fries), Soybean (soybean oil, TVP, tokwa, toyo, taho), White beans (pork and beans), wheat (pandesal, cake, noodles)

9. Converting corn into ethanol requires more energy in the process than the net energy output/ produce.

10. Aeroponics and hyrodoponics are still in their piloting stage; they have not reached commercial levels of production.


Herbal Medicine - Photos: Gotu Kola or Takip Kuhol (Centella asiatica)

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Are you an Effective Teacher? Unveiling Teaching Expertise (Part 1)


Dr Abe V Rotor 
Living with Nature - School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid (People's School-on-Air) with Ms Grace Velasco
738 DZRB AM, 8-9 evening class Monday to Friday

Research and publication contribute immensely to effectiveness in teachingLaunching of books published by UST in celebration of its 400th anniversary
Professors of SPUQC take time out on a retreat. Angels' Hills, Tagaytay

Lesson: Are you an effective teacher? Please read this article. Find out the basis and criteria of an effective teacher.
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The characteristics of an effective teacher are described in a book written by Dr. Flordeliza Clemente-Reyes, Unveiling Teaching Expertise – A Showcase of 69 Outstanding Teachers in the Philippines. The book summarizes the results of a nationwide research initiated and funded by the Commission on Higher Education in cooperation with non-governmental organizations and various colleges and universities.

Profiling the outstanding teacher from the 69 finest teachers of the country was conducted on 28 private and 12 state universities distributed in 12 regions of the country. Twenty-eight of these teachers are Metrobank Outstanding Teachers and were automatically included in the list, while the other 41 were chosen by a composite team from CHED, the National Council of Educational Innovators (NCEI), with the support of NGOs, with De La Salle University as its research base. At the time of the study these teachers were handling courses in PAASCU Level-3 accredited colleges and universities, or Centers of Excellence, or both, and have earned the reputation of being outstanding teachers in their respective institutions.
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In a capsule an effective teacher is generally

§ An expert in all four areas of teaching, namely, subject matter, classroom management, instruction, and diagnostics in teaching;

§ One who has a personal educational philosophy regarding beliefs, assumptions and convictions regarding his role as a teacher;

§ Married, and most likely a woman in her middle age – 40 and above; (Women dominate men in the teaching profession, 4 to 1)

§ A college performer, but not necessarily an honor student and campus leader;

§ One whose initial career was not set to teaching - in fact did not take up formal undergraduate education subjects and training;

§ A postgraduate degree holder with a master’s degree at least, in any specific field in natural and social sciences, and other disciplines;

§ A “mix-brain” that is, a person whose logical and creative hemispheres of the brain are effectively put to use in tandem;

§ A model person with personal attributes, virtues, and teaching methods that nurture favorable teacher-student relationship;

§ One who draws inspiration from both within and outside the school, such as members of his family;

§ A cheerful, willing and motivated person always in pursuit of continued professional growth.

Four Areas of Expertise of the Outstanding Teacher

The expert teacher has been found to possess four types of expertise, namely:

1. Subject matter expertise, which means that the teacher has a mastery of content-specific knowledge and the organization of this knowledge for effective instruction.

2. Classroom management expertise, that is, the expert teacher maintains a high level of on-task students’ classroom behavior, which prevents or eliminates learning disruptions, while it creates an environment conducive to learning.

3. Instructional expertise, which means that the teacher has both implicit and explicit knowledge on various teaching strategies and methods to attain predefined instructional objectives.

4. Diagnostic expertise, which refers to the ability of the teacher to know both the class and individual needs and goals, abilities, achievement levels, motives, personality attributes, and emotions, which influence instruction and learning.

Holistic Mentor-Learner Interaction

The key to effectiveness in teaching is a holistic approach whereby there is a mutual and orderly interaction in the teaching-learning process, with the teacher placing a high premium on the development of thinking and understanding. Educators attribute teaching expertise to the teachers’ affectionate interactions with the learners, and to their efforts towards developing learners’ responsibility for learning. There are of course many other factors that influence effectiveness in teaching because of the wide diversity in culture, affected by certain economic, ecological and political conditions.

Attributes of the Expert Teacher

1. Women dominate the teaching profession. Of the 69 outstanding teachers, women constitute 74% as compared with that of men which is 26 &, or a ratio of 4 to 1. The reason for this is that men place less priority to teaching than better paying jobs. This is manifested in the choice of careers. In the case of men, they prefer law, engineering, and applied courses in industry and technology that offer better professional growth opportunities and pay as compared to teaching.

2. The median age of the expert teacher is 50. Majority of the experts (82.6%) are in their past 40. Surprisingly one-fifth of the experts is in the 60 to 79 age bracket. These data point out that teaching – contrary to common belief – does not deteriorate with age. On the other hand, teaching improves with time and experience. Distilled and seasoned knowledge is wisdom.

3. Forty-five of the 69 expert teachers are married. The remaining 24 are single with two of them a nun and a priest. Again at this point, contrary to common belief, being married and having a family is not a deterrent to being a good teacher. On the contrary there are many cases where teaching career is enhanced by an understanding and cooperative family.

4. In general, the 69 outstanding teachers did not choose teaching as their first career. Only 26 actually set their minds to teaching as early as upon graduation in high school. For one reason or another the 43 set out for other careers. Others found teaching compatible with their present professions, while a good number opted to spend their retirement as teachers or professors. Among the outstanding teachers are practicing agriculturists, journalists, scientists, lawyers, doctors, engineers, TV hosts, and the like. This shows that a good teacher may not have started out early in his career as teacher but ended up becoming a good teacher. Professions and experiences outside of teaching greatly contribute to teaching effectiveness.

5. The experts were academic achievers in college. There were only 14 of the experts who were active in extracurricular activities in college, say in athletics and campus politics. Fifty-eight are academic achievers, with 33 as top performers but who did not make it in the dean’s list, and 25 who were consistent scholars and honor students. Only 11 were average academic performers. Dr. Reyes explains the relationship of academic performance and expertise in teaching this way. “Academic achievers generally have good self-esteem and exude high self-confidence – personal attributes that are helpful to teachers, cognitive intelligence as a facilitative factor to subject mastery and instructional skills, notwithstanding.” An intelligent teacher is therefore highly desirable so long as he demonstrates humility patience and understanding. On the other hand, “magtitser ka na lang,” is an insult to the teaching profession.

6. On the educational attainment of the expert teachers, 35 of them have doctoral degrees while 26 have master’s degrees. The remaining ones were at the time of the survey still pursuing their graduate studies. This means that 88.4% of the expert teachers have at least a master’s degree, which points out to the importance of graduate education as a factor in effective teaching. Graduate education is characterized by “extensive professional reading and research, as well as personal discipline, perseverance, diligence, and a strong motivation to succeed,” in the words of Dr. Reyes. The pursuit of graduate studies confirms the strong conviction of the teacher towards excellence and dedication in his profession. Graduate studies confer the imprimatur of a teacher’s professional status, and his place among his peers.

7. The expert teachers do not only possess high educational attainment; they also excel in specific disciplines or fields of study. Here is a breakdown of the findings:

§ Education and related fields 36 %
§ Applied and natural sciences 26
§ Languages, literature, communication art 15
§ Medicine, nursing and public health 6
§ Political, social science, economics 6
§ Psychology, guidance and counseling 5
§ Philosophy 3
§ Agriculture 3

It is interesting to note that 55 of the experts have either completed or enrolled in programs that offer rich opportunities for sharing research, information, and work experiences in the school setting.

8. On teaching experience, the range is wide – 2 to 47 years, with a median of 25 years. Yes, it takes 25 years to be a model teacher. There is a saying, “Experience does not only make a good teacher; experience is the best teacher.”

9. Which hemisphere of the brain is more useful to the expert teacher? The different specializations of expert teachers attest to a left-right brain combination or mix-brain, which means that the use of both hemisphere in proper balance and harmony is needed in teaching - the left for language, mathematics and logic, and the right which is dominantly for creativity is for intuition, inspiration and imagination. Majority of the expert teachers are mix-brained (43 women and 11 men). The rest are left-brained who are experts in the fields of science, mathematics, language, philosophy, research, nursing and agriculture. The survey came up with a negative right-brained among the experts.

10. The effective teacher draws inspiration from his or her family. Almost one-half of the expert teachers consider the supportive role of family members who understand the nature of teaching as having greatly contributed to their success. Twenty of the expert teachers mentioned of a family member as their mentor and source of inspiration. On the other hand the role of school administrators is very important, with almost 70% of the participants attributing the administration’s support to their success. The ambiance of teaching is equally important whereby the school is one large respectable family with a community atmosphere.

11. The 69 experts are divided according to the following philosophies of education, namely

v The majority of the participants (29 women and 6 men) are experimentalists. They uphold the experimental educational philosophy. This means that these teachers are flexible and open to educational change.

v Twelve are advocates to eclectic educational philosophy, which means that they do not subscribe to just one philosophy, and they shift their roles from being facilitators of learning to transmitters and interpreters of knowledge.

v Twelve are perennialists, that is, they perceive themselves as authority figures in the classroom, transmitting and interpreting knowledge.

v Nine are realists. They tend to focus on the here and now. They stress knowledge as how it is applied or observed. For example the laws of nature are better understood through observation and research.

v Only one among the expert teachers is an idealist. She views education as a means of developing students’ intellectual abilities. Influenced by the Greek philosophers Socrates and Plato, she stresses the importance of logic and philosophy.

Given these premises, the expert teacher is motivated to learn more, to expand his horizon as new things evolve – in science and technology, management, education, research, and in the many ways the world and human society are changing. His love for his profession takes him to a higher realm of continuing professional growth, his love for knowledge itself, which is the primordial tool in teaching, and in sharing them to the younger and future generations in the wisdom and humility of the Good Shepherd. ~

 About Plato's Academy 
Plato's Academy, a painting by Leonardo da Vinci. Socrates and his pupil Plato are shown at the center. Below, ruins of the Academy 



"Academy was a suburb of Athens, named after the hero Academos or Ecademos. The site was continuously inhabited from the prehistoric period until the 6th century A.D. During the 6th century B.C., one of the three famous Gymnasiums of Athens was founded here. Moreover, it is recorded that Hippias, the son of Peisistratos, built a circuit wall, and Cimon planted the area with trees which were destroyed by Sulla in 86 B.C. In 387 B.C. Plato founded his philosophical school, which became very famous due to the Neoplatonists, and remained in use until A.D. 526, when it was finally closed down by emperor Justinian."



 Plato established a very special school  2.380 years ago. He named his school The Academy, built on the idea far ahead of its time, on the belief that every person has the potential for mastery and greatness.

Influenced by the philosophy of Socrates, Plato and his associates posed questions and problems which the group would then discuss and solve.  Thus they gained knowledge, developed character and friendship, as they pursue truths and insights. This collective and integral approach - rather than individual - is the key in elevating the academy on the highest plane of learning.  


Plato’s Academy became a beacon of wisdom and development throughout the ages. Its tradition was preserved and carried on by many, starting from Aristotle who studied in the Academy for twenty years (367 BC – 347 BC) before founding his own school, the Lyceum.


Albert Einstein was so inspired by Plato’s approach that with a group of friends he founded his own school – the Olympia Academy.

(Reference ISOD - Integral School of Organization Development, Internet)  

 Are You an Effective Teacher?
An Evaluation


Opposite each item, indicate your score based on the Likert Scale (1 Very Poor, 2 Poor, 3 Fair, 4 Good, 5 Very Good) Answer those with dot/square marks only


1.Subject matter expertise


 Thorough/excellent knowledge of content


 Being up-to-date with the latest developments in their fields


 Knowledge of the interrelationships among the structural elements or concepts of the subject matter -


 Knowledge of the relationship of the lesson with other courses or disciplines


 Knowledge of practical application and concrete, interesting examples to clarify abstract ideas/concepts


2. Classroom Management Expertise


 Efficient handling of routine activities and time management


 Maintenance of students’ on-task behavior


 Absence of class disruptions


3.Instructional Expertise


 Use of varied teaching strategies


 Use of varied instructional equipment and materials to enhance education


 Instructional clarity


3.Communication Expertise


 Expressive non-verbal or body language.


 Excellent oral communication skills


 Provision of two-way communication


4. Diagnostic Expertise


. Sensitivity to students’ learning problems/difficulties


. Anticipation of probable problems or misconceptions


5.Relational Expertise


 Non-threatening disposition


 Enthusiasm


 Providing a psychologically safe learning environment


 Making learning pleasant and enjoyable


 Classroom humor


 Magnetism/Charisma


 High rapport with students


 Affectionate interaction with students



B. Responsible Teaching


 integrate values in teaching


 communicate their belief in the students’ capacity for learning


 facilitate development of understanding and draw out generalizations and insights


 provide students opportunities to assume an active role in the learning process and to be responsible for their own learning


 select and implement teaching strategies, learning activities and instructional materials.


 Learner-centered teaching


 Learner-centeredness


 Developing students’ responsibility for learning


 Values integration

NOTE: We are all teachers in our own rights - at home, in our community, in the office, and the like. This evaluation applies to all of us. xxxx